One night after beating the Indians 10-3 on a cold, rainy, sparsely attended night at the Stadium, the Yankees beat the Indians 9-2 on a cold, rainy, sparsely attended night at the Stadium.
The Yankees jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when a leadoff walk to Johnny Damon came around to score on a Derek Jeter double and a Bobby Abreu sac fly. Kei Igawa, meanwhile, looked sharp early, getting ahead of hitters and allowing only a Travis Hafner single in the first two frames.
Most of the scoring occurred in the third inning. Igawa started off the third by ringing up Josh Barfield for his third strikeout of the game, but Kelly Shoppach followed with a double to right and Igawa's 0-2 pitch to Grady Sizemore slipped out of his hand and plunked Sizemore in the tuchus. Igawa got ahead of Jason Michaels as well, but Michaels singled to plate Shoppach on the 0-2 pitch. Again, Igawa got ahead of Travis Hafner 0-2, but his next pitch was in the dirt and rolled away from Jorge Posada, sending Michaels to second. Hafner then tapped a slow three-hopper to the shortstop hole for an infield single that plated Sizemore. Igawa then started Ryan Gargo off with a ball, just the second time in his first 13 batters that his first pitch was out of the strike zone. On his next pitch, Garko hit a check swing flare over the mound. In reaching for it, Igawa sent his glove flipping into the air. Robinson Cano charged and scooped the ball after two quick hops, flipping it to Jeter in one motion to start a 4-6-3, inning-ending double play.
Trailing 2-1, the Yankees let loose on Jeremy Sowers in the bottom of the third. Jeter kicked things off with his second double in as many at-bats. Abreu singled Jeter home to tie the game. Alex Rodriguez ground into a fielder's choice to replace Abreu at first. Jason Giambi doubled Rodriguez home to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead. Posada singled Giambi to third. Cano singled Giambi home. Josh Phelps singled Posada home. Melky Cabrera flied out for the second out, and Johnny Damon finished the job by singling Cano home and knocking Sowers out of the game.
Igawa gave up just a walk and Travis Hafner's third single over his remaining three innings, again starting eight of the ten hitters he faced with strikes and erasing Hafner's single with a double play. All totaled, he threw 67 percent of just 92 pitches for strikes and struck out five in six innings while allowing just seven base runners on five hits (four singles, three by Hafner, one that weakly tapped infield single), a walk, and a hit-by-pitch.
Scott Proctor, Sean Henn, and Chris Britton added three more hitless innings to finish the job, each recording one strike out, with Proctor and Britton each issuing a walk.
Oh, and those last three Yankee runs? Yeah, another two-run Alex Rodriguez jack and a solo shot by Jason Giambi, back to back off different pitchers in the sixth no less. In case you're wondering, Rodriguez is on pace for 112 home runs, 287 RBIs, 199 runs scored, 62 doubles, and 237 hits. He's slugging .981 (no, that's not his OPS).
To sum up, in these first two games against the Indians, the Yankees have outscored Cleveland 19-5, two Yankee rookies have picked up their first major league wins, and the bullpen has contributed seven hitless, scoreless innings while issuing just two walks.